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Recorder Report

Business Recorder

Published Date: Mar 23, 2017

Political parties urged to support efforts: Zubair

Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair Wednesday said that no-tax culture prevails in Pakistan and all political parties should come forward and espouse the government’s measures for broadening of tax base. Speaking at high level consultative meeting on tax reforms and public-private dialogue organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) at local hotel, he said that his prime agenda was economic development of Sindh, particularly of Karachi.

He said that security and power were the major issues of Karachi and if these issues were resolved, global companies would market their products in Karachi. He added that incumbent government did much in Karachi for security and now was the time to launch economic initiatives to attract foreign investors to the metropolis under investment friendly environment.

He further said that Karachi project was the project for the country and urged the private sector to act bluntly instead of praising the concerned authorities. Governor Sindh said that the tax to GDP ratio was below 9 percent in 2013 with Rs 1900 billion tax collections of which Rs 1100 billion was transferred to the provinces under NFC that left no option for the government but to enter into IMF program besides taking brutal revenue generation measures together with tax reforms.

Moreover, he said that political parties came in support of non-filers when the government started aggressive action against them; adding that there was no tax culture in Pakistan hence all political parties instead of supporting non-filers or tax dodgers should encourage government in its measures for broadening of tax base. He also lauded the efforts of SDPI for engaging all political parties for tax reforms, saying that it was good initiative to build up consensus with all political parties in this regard.

Earlier, Mustaq Kazmi said that prior to 2010, FBR used to collect 17 percent sales tax on service and the amount transferred to Sindh province on quarterly basis was just Rs 2 billion.

However, the SRB collected Rs 25 billion during its primary year, targeting Rs 78 billion for ongoing fiscal year with an ambition to achieve the landmark of Rs 100 billion by next financial year, he maintained. He suggested that the authority concerned to allow tax collection on origin basis and added that Tax Reform Commission should have a mandate to look provincial tax system as well.

Meanwhile, Farooq Sattar recommended to hold all finance ministerial seminar in order to evolve strategic policies and added that provincial governments should also establish divisible pool for local government like federal divisible pool and for the purpose an amendment should be made in the proviso of article 160 of the constitution. He also requested the authorities to devolve motor vehicle tax to the local governments.

Dr Kaiser Bangali, Asad Ali Shah, Naheed Shah and other also spoke on the occasion.